xy·​lo·​phone | \ ˈzī-lə-ˌfōn How to pronounce xylophone (audio) also ˈzi- \

Definition of xylophone

: a percussion instrument consisting of a series of wooden bars graduated in length to produce the musical scale, supported on belts of straw or felt, and sounded by striking with two small wooden hammers

Illustration of xylophone

Illustration of xylophone

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Other Words from xylophone

xylophonist \ ˈzī-​lə-​ˌfō-​nist How to pronounce xylophonist (audio) also  ˈzi-​ \ noun

Examples of xylophone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The wooden instrument combines xylophone and piano elements, plus it’s a shape-sorter. Lindsey Hunter Lopez, USA TODAY, "The 26 best toys and gifts for 1-year-olds," 7 Oct. 2020 The marimba, a large wooden percussion instrument similar to the xylophone, has gained popularity in recent years, Kwan said. Juhi Varma, Houston Chronicle, "Sugar Land native wins grand prize in Philadelphia music competition," 5 Oct. 2020 Ancient instruments like the kora, a dazzling 21-string instrument, and the balafon, a wooden xylophone, are now played in ensembles that also feature drum kits, electric basses, and synthesizers. Teju Cole, Condé Nast Traveler, "In Mali, Music Is a Family Legacy," 21 Aug. 2020 The xylophone in the background is admittedly quite soothing. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "Celebrities are warning us about coronavirus. We ranked their best and worst PSAs," 1 Apr. 2020 Camila Morrone only entered when an attendant had already started calling guests inside for dinner with a xylophone. Max Maeckler, Vogue, "Inside Chanel’s Tweed and Celeb-Filled Pre-Oscar Party," 9 Feb. 2020 From there, Peart rumbled mid-tones against holiday bells and segued a snare roll to a xylophone solo. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Rush drummer Neil Peart showcased his virtuosity across decades of Indianapolis shows," 11 Jan. 2020 Many selfies are taken at the Glitch Beach, against banks of flickering bulbs, while in the Caves luminous dinosaur bones double as a xylophone. The Economist, "Art or entertainment? How Meow Wolf turned “immersive art experiences” into big business," 15 Jan. 2020 The high-pitched, echoing pings of xylophones, intense drumbeats and excited chatter filled the air as marching bands and dance troupes warmed up ahead of the parade. Tatiana Sanchez, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco Veterans Day Parade a ‘celebration of service’," 10 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'xylophone.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of xylophone

1866, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for xylophone

Time Traveler

The first known use of xylophone was in 1866

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Statistics for xylophone

Last Updated

14 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Xylophone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/xylophone. Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for xylophone


How to pronounce xylophone (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of xylophone

: a musical instrument that has a set of wooden bars of different lengths that are hit with hammers


xy·​lo·​phone | \ ˈzī-lə-ˌfōn How to pronounce xylophone (audio) \

Kids Definition of xylophone

: a musical instrument consisting of a series of wooden bars of different lengths that are struck by special mallets to produce musical notes

More from Merriam-Webster on xylophone

Nglish: Translation of xylophone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about xylophone

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